A Night At The Anti-Division Art Show

Words: Faith Thurnwald
Division: The process of being separated. We live in a divided world. National borders separate, define or kill us. Political opinions divide us; left, right or is it all wrong? We detach and divide ourselves into hyper individualism or stare; separated into blue light worlds. We social distance, face’s masked as we isolate. Disconnect and disengage: we are a species divided. We separate ourselves from that we don’t understand. Religion. Race. Gender. Disease. War.

I attend A2Z’s fourth art show, ‘Anti-division’. A2Z is the brainchild of the dynamic duo, Aleja and Zaide; two Brisbane based artists living, painting and curating together. Each of the 30 Brisbane based artists exhibiting are tasked to work with the theme of anti-division, described by A2Z as the double negative of connection. In a divided world, each artist must create a concept of connection.


Before the show I complete my ritual of connection: I drink rum in the shower at 2pm. Saturdays.


I arrive at the show and peruse the rooms, soft jazz follows me as I take a look around. Photos are clicked, captured and on display. Paintings are in process as Germ and Kezamine begin to paint live. Interpretations of anti-division are conceptualized and cover the walls.


I get up close and personal to Zoë Stuart’s piece; one of three scattered around the exhibition. They’re small and they’re hyper realistic, with detailed acrylic depicting relatable scenes. The scenes promote what connection means for many young Australians, from shared houses and house parties to flipping off your mates, highlighting the importance of the carefree relationships we forge when we’re young.


Jordache’s piece ‘Browsing’ captivates and catches my eye. An exploration into the human experience, depicting a lonesome figure submerged in the crash culture of escapism and division. His piece creates a vertigo effect, as though you are falling into the abyss of an oversaturated, over stimulated world. This piece is large and totally enthralling.


Just as certain super models don’t get out of bed for less than $10,000 a day, Valentino Koch refuses to sell his art for any reasonable price. Valentino’s pieces consist of three canvases depicting the division and anti-social behaviors that technology creates, from channel surfing the idiot box to updating friends to followers. Each piece has a different price: oral in the car park, your everlasting soul or one trillion billion dollars – only slightly out of my budget, and I aint willing to get my knees dirty.

I miss A2Z’s introductory speech, because I was busy connecting with tequila shots at a bar down the road and I’m not a journalist.


My friend arrives late, and she knows how to make an entrance: knee high boots, mini dress and smashing a bottle of wine, letting it roll down the hill and become someone else’s problem. Not only is the bottle of wine in pieces, but so is her phone screen, a testament to how heavily we rely on technology. She is disconnected and out of touch for a week.


I meet a guy I’d previously propositioned, finally putting my finger on how I know him. It’s a small world, and an even smaller art world; I’m trying not to shit where I eat, abstaining from those kinds of connections. So if I propositioned you at the Modern Vices art show: no I didn’t.


Germs and Kezamine’s mural is coming together, a duo painting on the theme of duality. Jazz has turned to DJ sets and everyone connects through smiles and sweat on the dance floor. A previously empty table is now covered in empties; discarded cider and beer cans, flowing onto the floor.


Valentino receives an offer, a woman who’s ready and willing to sell her soul.  I get it, being a woman is hard and hell; I’m about one bad day away from making a deal with the devil myself.

Another successful A2Z art show comes to an end, and so does my night, I sit on the kitchen floor desperate for a cheeseburger.